Group News: December 2015
Apache Celebrates 40 Years of Forties
40 years of Forties is a huge achievement for UK Oil & Gas. It was a celebrated event that took the Queen to Aberdeen 40 years ago, perhaps one of the most significant economic events in her reign.
At the BP Complex in Dyce, Aberdeen, 03 November 1975, the Queen pressed the button at a ‘switch-on’ ceremony that started the Forties pipeline flowing.
Adapted (Apache North Sea) Press Release (Nov. 3, 2015).
Apache Corporation announced a significant milestone at its Forties Field, .... 40 years have passed since oil was first produced from Forties Alpha and transported via the Forties Pipeline to the onshore terminal at Cruden Bay, north of Aberdeen.
The Forties Field, which Apache has successfully rehabilitated through its Apache North Sea subsidiary, remains one of the key producers in the U.K. sector of the North Sea.
Situated 177 kilometers east of Aberdeen, Scotland, Forties has seen activity since 1964 when the area was initially licensed for exploration. In October 1970, commercial oil was confirmed in the field with the discovery of an estimated 1.8 billion barrels of oil, establishing the U.K. North Sea as a major source of energy and revenue. It remains the single largest oil-producing asset within the U.K. Continental Shelf, surpassing 2.4 billion barrels to date, and is one of the top-producing fields in 2015.
Prior to Apache’s acquisition, the field was expected to cease production by 2013 with decommissioning operations commencing thereafter. Production had declined to 40,000 barrels of oil per day (Bpd) - less than a twelfth of its peak production - by the time Apache assumed operations in 2003. After addressing key issues impacting the five platforms of the mature asset base, including recommencing drilling operations, Apache revived production to more than 60,000 Bpd by year end 2004.
While Forties was estimated to contain 144 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) of remaining reserves when Apache acquired it in 2003, the company has since recovered more than 230 MMboe and added critical infrastructure, including tying back new, operated, satellite-field discoveries, to extend the field’s life expectancy by more than 20 years. Today - 12 years after Apache assumed control - the field continues to produce in excess of 52,000 Bpd with a robust inventory of opportunities to pursue going forward.
Apache has a long and successful record of rehabilitating aging assets by focusing on value, increased returns and excellent operating efficiency, which have resulted in the company achieving and retaining its status as the most-efficient operator in the North Sea since 2012.
Through effective management and daily commitment to excellence, Apache continues to identify high-quality opportunities in the North Sea and looks forward to ongoing success in the region.
FORTIES: The Field that keeps giving: 2010 - 2015
In 2009, Offshore Group Newcastle (OGN) had completed a concept study for a simple wellhead tower at Delta - just as Apache was completing one for Alpha. By the end of 2009, the resolution was to integrate both studies into a functional specification for a new bridge-linked platform, FASP, which would be positioned next to Alpha. In 2010, a £400 million ($648 million) contract for the construction of the FASP was initiated and work began. Float out of the FASP carbon steel jacket was in September 2012 with final commissioning in August 2013.
On joining the ring main, FASP has provided an additional two turbine generators of power. It has a production capacity of 25,000 barrels per day and provides 18 new slots for drilling additional development wells to target the pockets of oil that were inaccessible from Forties Alpha. Together with Apache’s various other upgrades and improvements, it has extended the life expectancy of the Forties field by 20 years.
2012 also saw first oil from the Bacchus field. Bacchus lies around 6.5km North East of Forties Alpha, in Block 22/6s North and was discovered in July 2005 with well 22/6a-14. Oil from Bacchus travels to the Forties Alpha platform via a 6.7km subsea bundled pipeline.
By 2013, Apache had invested £2.8 Billion ($4.3 billion) in the Forties field since its acquisition. It had produced 190 million barrels of oil equivalent, and its average daily production stood at 60,000 barrels per day.
Following the success of Bacchus, the Aviat subsea field development will be the second subsea tie-back to Forties and aims to provide fuel gas to the field. Providing up to 19 million standard cubic feet per day of fuel gas, this valuable source of fuel will help sustain Forties production for 15 years or more, in line with latest production forecasts and development of future targets.
Project Talk: Monitor Systems supplies the Forties Delta Platform with (Total Gas & H2S Gas Detection System in Mud). Read the news article, click-here.